The Taliban-run Ministry of Higher Education in Afghanistan has ordered private universities not to allow female students to sit for university entrance exams next month, placing more strongholds on its anti-women education stand.
According to a Saturday, January 28 report by Reuters, a letter from the ministry was addressed to institutions in Afghanistan’s northern provinces, including Kabul, where exams are due to take place from the end of February.
The letter said those institutions that did not observe the rules would face legal action.
The Higher Education Ministry in December told universities not to allow female students “until further notice”.
Days later, the administration stopped most female NGO workers from working. Most girls’ high schools have also been closed by authorities.
The restrictions on women’s work and education have drawn condemnation from the West.
Afghanistan is in the midst of an economic crisis due to sanctions affecting its banking sector and a cut in development funding, with aid agencies warning tens of millions are in need of urgent aid. In 2021, the US and NATO left the country after over two decades of trying to impose western education and values on the Islamic state. The Taliban now rules the country.
However, a World Bank report this week also said the Taliban administration, which has said it is focused on more economic self-sufficiency, had kept revenue collection strong the previous year.